Film Review: Saturday Night Special

Posted By admin on December 4, 2017 5:58pm

By: Brittany Conrad
Saturday Night Special, a short film by Esteban Garcia Vernaza, personifies the urban class in a raw light. With references to gang culture and weaponry, even the title evokes a somber feeling. Through provocative cinematography, and jarring imagery we see life through the eyes of Wesley, a teenager living in Harlem with his mother and sister. His mother seems unfit, working as a prostitute, and he is left as almost the sole caregiver for his baby sister. Life on the streets is difficult, and we are confronted with shocking reality. I enjoy movies of substance, and this film is in no ways lacking. Opening credits show our main character to be a hustler and a dreamer, but furthermore he is protective and kind. As his character develops, and the plot line thickens, we are left with a keen sense of awareness to the urban plight. Wesley is inherently good, but we see his struggle develop and his needs devolve to put food in his sister’s belly. The message of this film is strong and clear, and it showcases a problem in today’s society, which may not be felt among different classes. Sharp and moving, Saturday Night Special, is anything but cheap and easily concealed.

Saturday Night Special is an official selection of the 2017 New York City Independent Film Festival and 2017 Best Cinematography, Best Short Film, and Best Actor winner.

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